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Re: Mongolian Archery Question

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  • Kinjal of Moravia
    ... wrote: I have shot Mongolian for several years largely because I can set my thumb into my cheek to avoid shaking. On question 4
    Message 1 of 51 , Jul 17 9:14 AM
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      --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Steven Fuller"
      <dirtysteve23@...> wrote:

      I have shot 'Mongolian' for several years largely because I can 'set'
      my thumb into my cheek to avoid shaking. On question '4' you will
      find the ability to travel long distances with little gear was as
      significant as superior archery. They were also able to glean arrows
      from the field and return volley fire with any arrow, which the
      Europeans could not do. The Mongol archers had a morning excercise
      routine for strength and spiritual focus. If you remember that
      Chengis Khan was a shaman as well as 'king' and was on a spirtual
      quest it may help -- while the Europeans were defending often corrupt
      city systems. Yes -- they were superior archers, but that doesn't
      count for everyhting.

      Kinjal
      >
      > Hey folks,
      >
      > I have been asked by a few people (separately, even!) if I would
      teach
      > a class on Traditional Mongolian Archery at Atlantian Fall
      University.
      > They wanted it to be a part of a whole Mongolian track of classes,
      > including cooking, culture, clothing, furniture, etc.
      >
      > My question, then, is this: seeing as how I only have an hour to
      teach
      > a subject and I really need to narrow my class down to one topic,
      what
      > should I teach about?
      >
      > 1) History of the Mongolian Draw, How It's Done and Why
      >
      > 2) History of the Thumb Ring and Its Cultural Significance
      >
      > 3) Learn to Shoot with a Thumb Ring
      >
      > 4) Horse Archery and Its Pivotal Role in the Spread of the Mongolian
      > Empire
      >
      > I'm not really sure who my "students" will be, if they would be
      mostly
      > archers or mostly non-archers. How should I decide what would be
      most
      > wanted out of a Mongolian archery class?
      >
      > Thanks for any and all suggestions (and any reference help would be
      > great, too! *grin*),
      >
      > --Rhys.
      >
    • Kinjal of Moravia
      ... Oh, how I disagree with you -- let me count the ways (no citations follwing your opinion lead) I hope the citizens of the other European nations are not
      Message 51 of 51 , Jul 22 7:38 AM
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        --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Carolus <eulenhorst@...> wrote:

        Oh, how I disagree with you -- let me count the ways
        (no citations follwing your 'opinion' lead)

        I hope the citizens of the other European nations are not too
        offended by your view that only England and France are important.

        1) the Mongolian 'event' obviated the 'hubris' driven infighting of
        the European monarchy. This allowed the Pope to demand a mediating
        role that broke the power of Fredrick II (Holy Roman Emporer) and
        appoint favored kings and princes throught Europe.
        2) The 'too late' support of Austria came at the price of whole-sale
        Christianization of entire Slavic peoples. This 'fire-hose' baptism
        and later church restructuring to support massive expansion let to
        power abuse and the Reformation.
        3) Without the Mogol invasion the Ottoman Empire would never have
        existed.
        4) without the invasion the Russian states might still be just a
        collection of squabling cities. Batu Khan unified Russia if nothing
        else.
        5) The Mongols demonstrated the effectiveness of gunpowder explosives
        to the Europeans.
        6) Miltary tactics of all European armies changed after the multiple
        invasions.
        7) the saparation of the Eastern and Roman churches might have been
        resolved except for the power dynamics created by the invasions.
        8) the weakening of the Baltic states and distrust of the Western
        rulers prevented cooperative support during the 'years of darkness'
        in the 14th century that led to the plague.
        9) the breaking of Teutonic oppression of Poland and Germanic states.
        10) repeating the reformation probably would never have occured
        except for the Mongolian invasion.

        and more ... have fun doing the research yourself.

        my interest in the 'Mongolian impact' is fueled by these and many
        other reasons indicating that the Mongol Invasions was one of the
        MOST CRITICAL influences on the development of European cultures in
        the 14-16th centuries. I have no particular love of the Mongolian
        Culture or actions, but am facinated of how they defeated every
        European army they met through guile, subtrafuse, courage and skill
        while European leaders dithered over uniforms, sibling squabbles and
        religeous politics.

        Kinjal
        .............................................................


        > Well written, John. You point out a number of
        > the reasons I do not consider the Mongols a major
        > factor in Western culture. While they had a
        > significant influence on the East, they had
        > little influence in the traditionally Western
        > countries such as England and France except to be
        > used as "bogeymen" to appear in stories to
        > frighten children into behaving. The fact that
        > their culture virtually disappeared into those of
        > their supposed "conquered" foes and has no
        > lasting influence on Western culture is why I do
        > not consider them a tangible influence.
        > Carolus
        >
        > At 06:14 PM 7/21/2008, you wrote:
        > >reneshepard wrote:
        > > > Okeiday, this is my tuppence on the subject, btw, I'm Rene
        Shepard, I
        > > > got my first degree in Art History at OSU Stillwater, but I had
        what
        > > > I call a "secular" history major for two years at the now
        retired
        > > > Phillips University in Enid OK. I have other training but it
        isn't
        > > > relevant here.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >> First, I did not state that they were militarily
        > > >> defeated. The political collapse of the Mongols
        > > >> was far more devastating than anything the West
        > > >> could throw at them. This does not change the
        > > >> fact that they were not able to succeed in
        > > >>
        > > >
        > > > Genghis Khan died 50 or so miles from Paris France, yes?
        > > >
        > >
        > >Sorry, no. To my knowledge, the closest Genghis Khan (Temujin)
        himself
        > >ever came to Europe was the northern part of Persia, after which he
        > >concentrated on China. Other of his forces under Subutai and Jebe
        pushed
        > >farther west, eventually conquering Georgia (in the Caucasus) and
        the
        > >Kievan Rus', and then were recalled to the east by Genghis Khan to
        fight
        > >in China. No Mongol forces ever got close to France. The farthest
        west
        > >any of them came was somewhere around the eastern border of modern
        > >Germany, during the campaign against Hungary, but that occurred
        under
        > >Genghis Khan's successor.
        > >
        > >Genghis Khan probably died in China (of what, exactly, we don't
        know).
        > >Some accounts say he died of wounds incurred in Egypt, but that is
        > >unlikely, since the Mongol involvement (and defeat) in Egypt
        actually
        > >took place after he was dead.
        > >
        > >(And I apologize, but I can't cite specific references for most of
        this.
        > >It's the result of many years' reading, but I don't own the
        sources. My
        > >fields of relative expertise are mostly Western, and I only have
        room
        > >for so many books. In general I am, shall we say, somewhat wary of
        Web
        > >sources, so I usually don't like using them as references.)
        > >
        > > > But:
        > > > Contrary to popular belief, Genghis Khan did not conquer all of
        the
        > > > areas of the Mongol Empire. At the time of his death, the Mongol
        > > > Empire stretched from the Caspian Sea to the Sea of Japan. The
        > > > empire's expansion continued for a generation or more after
        Genghis's
        > > > death in 1227. Under Genghis's successor ígedei Khan the speed
        of
        > > > expansion reached its peak. Mongol armies pushed into Persia,
        > > > finished off the Xi Xia and the remnants of the Khwarezmids,
        and came
        > > > into conflict with the imperial Song Dynasty of China, starting
        a war
        > > > that would last until 1279 and that would conclude with the
        Mongols
        > > > gaining control of all of China.
        > > >
        > > > I wouldn't consider this a footnote nor trivial.
        > > > Ghengis' grandson:
        > > > Kublai or Khubilai Khan (September 23, 1215[8] - February 18,
        1294
        > > > [9]) (Mongolian: Хубилай хаан,
        > > Chinese: 忽必烈; pinyin: Hūbìliè), was
        > > > the fifth and last[citation needed] Khagan (1260â€"1294) of the
        Mongol
        > > > Empire. In 1271, he founded the Yuan Dynasty, which ruled over
        > > > Mongolia, China Proper, and some adjacent areas, and became the
        first
        > > > Yuan emperor.
        > > >
        > > > Again, only trivial footnote in Western eyes.
        > > >
        > >
        > >True. Actually, they also made quite an impression in eastern
        Europe,
        > >and their rule in Russia may have set its cultural progress back
        back a
        > >couple of hundred years behind the rest of Europe. Quite a few
        > >westerners still remember the Mongols, and not fondly. But see
        below, also.
        > >
        > > > The main point I'm trying to get to though is why the Mongolian
        horse
        > > > archer's and the horde in general are so very important in the
        grand
        > > > scheme of things.
        > > >
        > > > The horde were able to do what they did because of the
        invention of
        > > > the stirrup. Prior to there was nothing really as usefull. It
        allowed
        > > > the horde to put pressure on the West forcing more and more
        migration
        > > > which eventually led to the accidental "finding" of the New
        World.
        > > > Which was never lost, nor was it new but you get my point.
        > > >
        > >
        > >I think you are mistaken here. For one thing, by the 1200's when
        the
        > >Mongols irrupted, everyone in Europe and Asia had had stirrups for
        > >hundreds of years. The earliest stirrups probably did originate in
        > >Central Asia, but they had been introduced into Europe long ago,
        most
        > >likely by the Avars in the 600's. For another thing the Huns,
        another
        > >nomadic horse people from the steppes, had in late Roman times
        conquered
        > >or terrorized everyone in their path quite without the benefit of
        > >stirrups. Although there is considerable dispute regarding the
        extent of
        > >the cultural and military impact of the stirrup ("The Great Stirrup
        > >Controversy"), it is moot here because by the time of the Mongols
        > >stirrups were in universal use. The great success of the Mongols
        was
        > >due, not to stirrups, but to a number of other factors, including:
        their
        > >superior bows and the skill with which they used them; their great
        > >mobility against foes who, at least in the West, lacked sufficient
        light
        > >cavalry to counter it; their adaptability and their incorporation
        of
        > >conquered forces; and above all their superb tactical discipline.
        > >
        > >Nor did the Mongol activities cause much in the way of migration.
        > >Perhaps you are thinking of the migrations of the Slavs and Goths
        > >fleeing the Huns a thousand years earlier.
        > >
        > >As far as Mongol pressure leading to the eventual discovery of the
        New
        > >World: quite the opposite. The occupation of the Middle East and
        Asia by
        > >the various Mongol Hordes actually facilitated trade between West
        and
        > >East across the ancient overland routes. The Mongols suppressed
        banditry
        > >and local warlords along the Silk Road, and encouraged trade.
        Chinese
        > >diplomats visited the West, Marco Polo visited China, and trade
        > >flourished. It was the *decline* of Mongol power, and the rise of
        the
        > >Turks, which eventually strangled Europe's overland trade routes to
        > >India and China, prompting Europeans to seek Atlantic ones.
        > >
        > > > My problem with the minimalization of the importance of this
        > > > incredible culture is a habit of Western thinking even today,
        which
        > > > leads to, imo, the negative persona of the West that seems to
        > > > permeate cultures outside of the West. In other words, we in
        the West
        > > > tend to make other cultures somehow insignificant to our own,
        simply
        > > > because it is not our own.
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >Everyone does that, not just us. In fact, Western historians are
        by no
        > >means the worst offenders.
        > >
        > > >> invading and conquering the West - just as Russia
        > > >> successfully defended their country by planned
        > > >> retreats and the use of harsh weather as a
        > > >> weapon. It does, however, point out that the
        > > >> culture was not strong enough to maintain a
        > > >> successful occupation and did indeed become a
        > > >> footnote along the way of history.
        > > >>
        > > >
        > > > A foot note in whose history? Just because Communist China
        suppress'
        > > > and denies any history that does not support it's bizarre
        regime does
        > > > nothing to negate the immense impact this culture had at the
        time of
        > > > its occurance nor it's relevance to future generations. These
        people
        > > > still exist, and if you haven't noticed they have an enormous
        empire,
        > > > the last time I checked is a nuclear power.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >If you are still talking about the Mongols, they don't have an
        empire
        > >and they are not a nuclear power. Since the decline of their
        empire in
        > >the 1300s, they have been overrun and subjugated repeatedly by the
        > >Manchurians, Chinese, and Russians. About a third of Mongolia
        proper is
        > >now part of China. What's left is about twice the size of Texas,
        but it
        > >is mostly desert, barren mountains, and arid steppe.
        > >
        > >The Mongols did have a large impact on the history of Asia and
        Eastern
        > >Europe, primarily because of the unifying influence they provided
        for a
        > >time, and the devastation they caused in some areas. However, the
        sheer
        > >size of their empire -- much of which was empty wasteland -- can
        easily
        > >lead one to overestimate their lasting influence. Culturally, the
        > >Mongols contributed almost nothing to the lands they conquered.
        They
        > >were a primitive, nomadic people who rather quickly adopted the
        ways of
        > >the lands they occupied, and were subsumed into their cultures in a
        > >generation or two. Their greatest positive contribution was
        probably
        > >their unifying effect on some of the areas they controlled,
        particularly
        > >China, which helped those cultures to flourish -- after, of
        course, they
        > >caused the deaths of millions, many as a deliberate terror tactic.
        > >
        > >The "Mongol Empire" was in fact rather short-lived. Its full
        extent was
        > >never a single political entity except in name. Temujin (Genghis
        Khan)
        > >began his conquests in 1207. Upon the death of his successor
        Ogedai Khan
        > >in 1241 the Mongols began fragmenting into several feuding "Hordes"
        > >which controlled different areas. When the already-very-sinicized
        Kublai
        > >became Great Khan in 1260, most of the empire had already
        fractured into
        > >separate, often warring khanates, and the Mamluks were already in
        the
        > >process of conquering back the Middle East. The Yuan (Mongol)
        Dynasty of
        > >China became thoroughly Chinese, but was overthrown in 1368 for
        > >incompetence and bad luck. Russian forces defeated the Golden
        Horde in
        > >1380, although some areas paid tributes for another century.
        Compared
        > >to, say, the Romans, the Mongols' tenure was brief, and their
        influence
        > >much less pervasive. The Mongols did not impress their ideas,
        religion,
        > >institutions, or way of life on conquered peoples -- just the
        opposite
        > >in fact. They were either absentee landlords, as in Russia, or
        soon lost
        > >their own cultural identity in the lands they occupied. Yes, the
        Mongols
        > >did change the world, but not nearly as much as did the Greeks,
        Romans,
        > >British, Chinese, Arabs, etc.
        > >
        > >[Okay, okay, I did get those dates from Wikipedia. I'll trust it
        for
        > >that much.]
        > >
        > > > The only other point I'd like to make on the subject of
        > > > Mongolian/Khazak/Chin history is that the area we are
        discussing is
        > > > huge and it's area encompass' such large diversity of peoples
        that to
        > > > assume an idea could or could not have occured based on one
        battle or
        > > > one time or one generation is absurd. We could dig for years
        through
        > > > mountains of archeology and information and never come to any
        decent
        > > > conclusion. Thus if someone like Kinjal has a tale to tell,
        with or
        > > > without citations, I for one will read what they have to say and
        > > > weigh it based on my own experiences. And while citations can
        make
        > > > some reading more profitable, sometimes, it is just more fun,
        easier,
        > > > less antagonistic to listen/read the story and enjoy.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > :)
        > > > Rene
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >That approach to history has some merit, but also many drawbacks.
        We
        > >need to be very wary of the philosophy that "to assume an idea
        could or
        > >could not have occured based on one battle or one time or one
        generation
        > >is absurd." If I understand you properly, you are saying that we
        should
        > >accept that certain events and ideas *may* have occurred in the
        past,
        > >even without any evidence that they *did* occur. While such
        occurrences
        > >cannot logically be disproved, this approach makes history into an
        > >absurd, meaningless shambles. If we follow it far enough, we have
        to
        > >credit the possibility that the Assyrians freed prisoners who could
        > >recite sonnets in Elizabethan English, or that preliterate Celts
        > >worshiped a giant cream-puff. Therefore, we ask for evidence, the
        more
        > >solid the better, before we accept something as "history". Without
        > >evidence, it's only conjecture -- which is fine, as long as it's
        > >presented as such. We need conjecture, and open minds, but they
        are not
        > >enough by themselves.
        > >
        > >As far as source citations: I think the general feeling on this
        list is
        > >that when covering well-known ground, or matters of only casual
        > >interest, none of us wants to be bothered with providing, or being
        > >interrupted by, a lot of citations -- although we do appreciate
        being
        > >told when we are listening to speculation or the poster's pet
        theory
        > >rather than knowledge gathered from more accepted sources.
        However, I
        > >for one feel that when the subject matter is new or controversial a
        > >citation or two is appreciated, and asking courteously for one is
        > >certainly not out of line. Most of us respect the idea of "history"
        > >enough to want it tied to something more than a good story. Of
        course, a
        > >poster is never required to provide citations, but I consider it
        > >courteous to do so if possible when asked. And, naturally, a
        poster who
        > >cannot, or will not, back up his or her historical pronouncements
        must
        > >accept with good grace that others may not buy what he is saying.
        Of
        > >course, one is never obliged to credit the reliability of any
        particular
        > >source, either, but some evidence is better than no evidence.
        > >
        > >John
        >
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